written by Frank Pierson & Alan J. Pakula, based on the novel by Scott Turrow
Barbara: You understand what happened had to happen. Couldn't have turned out any other way. A woman's depressed...with herself, with life...with her husband, who made life possible for her until he was...bewitched by another woman, a Destroyer. Abandoned. Like someone left for dead. She plans her suicide. Until the dream begins. In the dream, the Destroyer is destroyed. That's a dream worth living for. Now with such simplicity, such clarity, everything falls into place. It must be a crime that her husband can declare unsolved and be believed by all the world. She must make it look like a rape, but she must leave her husband a clue. Once he discovers who it was, he'll put the case into the file of unsolved murders. Another break-in by some sex-crazed man. But all his life, he'll know that it was her. She remembers a set of glasses she bought for the woman some time before, a housewarming gift from her husband in his office. She buys another set. Her husband has a beer one night, doesn't even comment on the glass. Now she has a fingerprint. Then on a few mornings, she saves the fluid that comes out when she removes her diaphragm, puts it in a plastic bag, puts the bag in the basement freezer. Waits. She calls the woman and asks to see her. She stops at the U and logs into the computer. Now she has an alibi. She goes to the woman. The woman lets her in. When her head is turned, she removes the instrument from her bag and strikes. The Destroyer is Destroyed. She takes the cord out that she brought along and ties her body in ways her husband described the perverts do. She feels the power, the control, a sense that she's guided by a force beyond herself. Takes a syringe and injects the contents of the ziplocked bag. Leaves the glass on the bar. Unlocks the door and windows. And goes home. And Life begins again. Until a Trial. When she sees her husband suffer. In ways she never intended. She is prepared to tell the truth right up to the very end, when magically, the charges were dropped. The suffering was over. And they were saved.
Rusty: (gasps) Saved?
And to close the film, Harrison Ford offers a final statement:
Rusty: The murder of Carolyn Polhemus remains unsolved. It is a practical impossibility to try two people for the same crime. Even if it wasn't, I couldn't take his mother from my son. I am a prosecutor. I have spent my life in the assignment of blame. With all deliberation and intent, I reached for Carolyn. I cannot pretend it was an accident. I reached for Carolyn and set off that insane mix of rage and lunacy that led one human being to kill another. There was a crime. There was a victim. And there is Punishment.
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